The Medieval Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem is characterised by its specific multilingualism. Following the Islamic conquest, an Arabisation of the language of the Melkites, the term used to describe oriental orthodox Christians, becomes evident from the late eighth century onwards. However, this Arabisation was by no means accompanied by a widespread Islamisation in Palestine. 1 Up until the Crusades, the majority of the population of several regions was most likely Christian. 2 From the eleventh century onwards though, the higher clergy and most of the monks residing in the numerous monasteries of Palestine came from Byzantium and hence spoke Greek. 3 Moreover, several communities from other orthodox countries had established themselves in Palestine, such as Georgia, which had strong relations with the Holy Land from as early as the fourth century, and also Serbia and Russia from the thirteenth century onwards. 4